Defending champions Zenit St. Petersburg, current Bundesliga leaders Hamburger SV and Italian enforcers AC Milan are among the teams that will compete in the second leg of the Round of 32 of the 2009 UEFA Cup on Thursday. In the first leg of the series last week, six of the 16 games ended in draws, making the return matches all the more important.
Teams from Ukraine are
looking strong, going 2-0-1 with wins by both Shaktar Donesk and Metalist Kharkiv and an away draw by Dynamo Kiev. As UEFA.com, writes, "Manchester City and Udinese Calcio will be firm favorites
to qualify as they both scored twice away to FC Copenhagen and KKS Lech Poznan respectively".
The strongest favorites to progress include Hamburger SV, Denmark's Aalborg BK and
Portugal's SC Braga, all of which posted commanding 3-0 victories in their opening matches. In a Cinderella story of sorts, "despite lying in the relegation zone in Ligue 1, AS Saint-Etienne also
looks set to qualify following an impressive 3-1 win at Olympiakos as they continued their eye-catching European campaign." Read the original story...